Official: west-east gas pipeline to be in operation this year 03-08-2004 15:25

A 3,900-kilometer-long natural gas pipeline that spans across the breadth of the country is scheduled for completion and commercial operation by the end of this year, according to Vice-Minister Zhang Guobao of the State Development and Reform Commission in Beijing on Monday.

The mammoth project, which starts in the Tarim Basin of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China and ends in the east China coastal city of Shanghai, is part of the efforts of the country to make full utilization of the rich resources in the western part of the country and ease energy-hunger in the economically developed eastern part.

The eastern part of the pipeline, which refers to the 1,500 kilometers from Jingbian in northern Shaanxi to Shanghai, was completed by the end of last year and has begun to supply natural gas to Shanghai from January 1, 2004, Zhang told at a press conference as sidelines of the annual session of China's top legislature.

"During the icy cold winter, Shanghai got a supply of 1.1 million cubic meters every day," Zhang said.

Welding for the 2,400 kilometer western part of the project has been completed and the joints across the Yangtze and Yellow rivers have also been completed, encountering no problems that affect the schedule of the entire project, he noted.

"At the current progress, the whole pipeline can been put into test run by October this year and by December 31, natural gas will flow from the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang to Shanghai and Zhejiang Province," he said, adding that this means the project is completed one year ahead of schedule, a speed that has never attained in the history of pipeline laying in the world.

Zhang revealed that gas supply contracts have been signed with more than 20 major downstream gas users (one city is countered as one user), with a total amount reaching 6.957 billion cubic meters.

The design and building of the project have the participation of foreign experts and engineering personnel as well as supervisors. All the project was open to international competitive bidding.

"We encourage the China National Petroleum Corporation, the owner of the project, to keep in contact with foreign companies and negotiate on joint operation of the project," he said.

Editor:Wang  Source:Xinhua News Agency

About Us . Get the Channel? . Contact Us Xinhua . People's Daily . China Daily . CRI . . cycnet . eastday .
Copyright © 2005 China Central Television, All Rights Reserved